the Tribe

WIN THIS NEXT MONTH! MOTOR MAGAZINE PRIZE PACK

Sam, via email

Letter of the Month winner, Sam, will be collecting $200 as he passes Go’ on his new Monopoly month, our prize pack comprises $200 cash and a 12-month subscription to MOTOR, along Mazda ND MX-5 scale model. We award ideas, opinions, prose and originality, so get typing!

SEND US A RANT. OR SOMETHING NICE. MOTOR@BAUER-MEDIA.COM.AU

WINNER LETTER OF THE MONTH

TEACH ME BETTER

A FEW MONTHS ago I turned 16 and got my learners permit. But here’ the thing, I only know the theory on how to drive. I don’ actually know how to do it. I know the road rules, sure, but I don’ know how hard I can press the brake pedal before ABS kicks in, how far to turn the steering wheel at high speeds or how to recover traction. We simply trust everybody’ parents, or driving instructors, were taught this.

Otherwise bad practices become habits. It’ outrageous and a different system should be adopted. One that teaches emergency stops, how to recover traction, and driving safely at high speeds.

A national campaign should be started in all the media. However, one of the problems with this is the investment is high and the benefits would take longer than an election cycle to take effect.

People would have to travel long distances to the nearest training centre and, perhaps, these are the people that need a licence most. It would also mean the costs of getting your licence would go from around $100 to a couple grand.

Otherwise, can I say the new format is great! Each issue gets better. Also, while they are an interesting read, I think most readers will agree cars’ like the Ranger and Colorado don’ deserve a place in MOTOR. Your tagline is “Power, Performance, Passion”, after all!

Geez, Sam, with all that sense you should be running for office! We also agree that the current system is far from ideal. More needs to be done.

Sam, via email

DUAL-CAB DUNGERS

On the front of your magazine are the words “POWER + PERFORMANCE + PASSION”. Each of these three qualities has no relevance when considering dual-cab utes. Therefore they should not be included in your magazine. The 11 pages wasted on these two light trucks (they are not cars, and should not be referred to as such) could have been used on items about vehicles which fulfil your three-word slogan.

Based on the significant sales volumes of dual-cab utes, perhaps you should start up a new magazine with a name like “Trucks and other Abominations”. This magazine could then cover all the utility-based vehicles and SUVs. It is likely this magazine would sell and MOTOR sales would also increase due to it solely meeting the interests of car enthusiasts.

Tom Hutchinson, via email

NO DUAL-CABS

In the latest MOTOR, you ask: “Are we wrong to include so-called performance dual cab utes’ like the Ranger Raptor in MOTOR?” Yes, you are, for all the reasons contained in my letter to you back in March.

The latest comparison test between one vehicular abomination versus an alternative four-wheeled atrocity offers no substantive evidence to alter that position. What’ going on — are you simply returning like a dog to its vomit, or to scratch some irritating scab, or are you truly planning to pervert your magazine’ long-held mission (“...the Australian bible for lovers of performance cars and driving…”). If the latter, then it’ goodbye from me! Sure, there may be a readership for articles of this type, but please don’ dilute MOTOR’ brand and heritage in serving that segment.

Tim Conway, via email

In our defence, Ford Performance engineered the Ranger Raptor and the Colorado has been tuned by none other than Holden Special Vehicles, so this is why we reviewed these cars – an investigation. The Raptor and SportsCat can be driven very fast over rutted roads thanks to remarkable, Baja 1000-inspired suspension (in the Raptor at least). Any MOTOR reader would be impressed. However... we accept that one could bolt this suspension into, for argument’ sake, a Toyota Tarago, but this doth not maketh it a vehicle worthy of review in MOTOR. Our foray into so-called performance dual cab utes’ now out of the way, we will leave this segment largely alone until they drive more like cars and have proper performance engines.

Rob Canning

SUBARU BRZ | 2.0-litre flat-four, 147kW/205Nm (modified) ODO 120,000KM | OWNED FOR 6.5 YEARS

IT’S MINE owner's dide

SO HOW LONG DID IT STAY STOCK? I had an exhaust on order before the car came. So not very long. It’ just been a slow progression through the years, every time I’ ve gotten a little extra money I’ d find something to buy. You know, a few drunken purchases, waking up to shipping notifications the next day. Always interesting to see what turns up.

IT HAS SOME SERIOUS SUSPENSION UNDER THERE. I put suspension in it about five years ago, just some cheap coilovers and never liked them they were always too rough and too horrible. My boss used to be an ex-rally racer, he’ raced in the Australian Rally Championship and had done some work at Drummond Motorsports. So I contacted them and asked if they wanted to develop something for the car.

WHAT DOES YOUR BOSS DRIVE? I bought this and started doing things to it and he turns up in a Mercedes A45 AMG to outdo me. He said “my car pops and crackles” so I went and bought a tune so I can make my car pop and crackle. We try and outdo each other.

WHAT’S BEEN THE LOWS WITH THIS CAR? It’ not good for long drives.

AND THE HIGHS? My number plate. The sparkly pink number plate.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE BEST MOMENT? Either going over the Great Alpine way just before winter and seeing the snow on the caps, going up with the Euro car club; lots of BMWs and Mercs and stuff, good trip and good people and a beautiful location.

YOU WANT AN M140i NEXT, GOOD PICK. I always want to have a fun car and in the BMW I can still have fun in it. It’ got the power, handles reasonably well I believe, so I can still do motorkhanas and sprint days and have a bit of fun in it.

I SUGGEST MANUFACTURERS GO WILD WITH DESIGN AND MAKE IT SOUND GOOD

SUVS ARE WHACK

I’ m Jack and I am 12 years old, from Adelaide. I love your mag! My problem is the Sport Utility Vehicle name doesn’ work for some. For example, Kia made its first sporty car and arguably (or what I think) the best car it has ever made, the Stinger. Yet it is selling what it calls a Sport Utility Vehicle, the Sorento. Others are also to blame.

They aren’ failures. Cars like the Jaguar F-Pace, Range Rover Sport and the Toyota LandCruiser are all good cars, it’ a few others that need to up their game. I’ suggest manufacturers go wild with design and make it sound good, cause looks and sound are all I care about. Get a Lamborghini Urus!

Jack Knight, via email

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DRIVING NIRVANA

I’ been planning a trip on the Great Alpine Road for the Melbourne Cup weekend, but a few things got in the way. Then I read Mr Newman’ article on the 812 Superfast in October MOTOR extolling the virtues of the Eildon-Jamieson Road. I thought, “I can do this!” So I did. Today...

Okay, not in a Superfast, but my MY16 VW Polo GTI. This road is brilliant! I did a clockwise loop – so I went from Jamieson to Eildon. This has to be the smoothest piece of road in Australia outside of a racetrack.

The wheels are rarely pointing straight ahead and they must have used the world’ supply of 25, 30 and 35km/h curve warnings. And they’ re fair dinkum too! There’ even one that warns of a tightening curve! I’ ve never seen that before. Luckily I also got an amazing run traffic-wise, so it was about 66km of ear-to-ear grins. And the Polo loved it!

Very good, John. It’ a fantastic road. Great to hear a Polo GTI getting some proper use as well.

John Sexton, via Facebook

WIRED WRONG

As a motorist and fan of motorcycles I agree with Morley’ article on new cable road barrier systems. It’ extraordinary that we as a nation have become a full-blown cotton-wool society. I agree that a fatality is a horrendous situation, however, I’ m concerned this rollout has not been considered particularly well.

The point David makes that these roadways have nowhere to escape in an emergency was highlighted to me recently. An interstate bus driver told all his disgruntled passengers to disembark in rainy weather at night from a bus that suffered a front tyre failure because he couldn’ get the coach off the road far enough to ensure safety of his passengers. Imagine the grief that poor driver would suffer if the worst occurred rather than getting his passengers wet and cold.

Are we going that far backwards in our road toll that we need bumper-type lanes on regional and many suburban roadways? I thought we had made great headway in safer cars, etc.

Alex Hall, via email

RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE/MORLEY

Morley, I used to have a lot of respect for you, having read your articles in MOTOR since I was a kid. But your article just proves how out of touch you are with recent times. Electronic sports are a thing, deal with it.

And you of all people should know how expensive motorsport is to get into. So this gives everyone the chance to compete in motorsport at an electronic level. If Formula One teams are recognising this and building their own teams, along with employing gamers to run their simulators to give direct feedback to race engineers, there is obviously validity in simulators as a learning and development tool.

Josh Muggleton, via Facebook

Out of touch? Me? Almost certainly. But I tell you what, I’ ve always believed that passion counts for a lot, and it’ clear that there’ passion for this eStuff. So, fair call the lot of you. Maybe I need to give it a go. I still don’ believe it’ replace driving a real racecar (as many Facebook comments have backedup) but I’ m prepared to admit there could be more to it than I can see as an outsider. You stop learning, you stop being much good to anybody.

–DM